Forum Theater provides an innovative approach to public forums and is at the core of the Theater of the Oppressed. It is the form most widely used by educators and by community and labor organizers in work with their constituency. Forum Theater has been used by organizers and educators worldwide for democratizing their own organizations, analyzing problems and preparing for action.
In Forum Theater, participants determine what their priority issues are–usually problems from everyday life–and develop short themes. Role-playing serves as a vehicle for analyzing power, stimulating public debate and searching for solutions. Participants explore the complexity of the individual/group relation at a variety of levels of human exchange. They are invited to map out: a) the dynamics of power within and between groups; b) the experience and the fear of powerlessness within the individual; and c) rigid patterns of perception that generate miscommunication and conflict, as well as ways of transforming them.